Health & WellnessS


Flashback UCLA Study On Friendship Among Women

A landmark UCLA study suggests friendships between women are special. They shape who we are and who we are yet to be. They soothe our tumultuous inner world, fill the emotional gaps in our marriage, and help us remember who we really are. By the way, they may do even more.


Propaganda Alert! 'Vegan diet may ease arthritis'

Rheumatoid arthritis patients may be able to improve their symptoms by switching to a vegan and gluten-free diet, a study in Sweden has found.

The researchers' findings were based on a small study group of only 30 patients with the disease and they are not yet sure why the diet change appeared to work. However the research team, which demonstrated changes to the immune system that may underlie the beneficial effect, believe it has identified an area that would repay further study. "I think it is a quite unexpected and interesting finding," said Prof Johan Frostegård at the Karolinska Institutet rheumatology unit in Stockholm, who led the study. "The effects on the immune system are quite new."

Rheumatoid arthritis - a different condition from osteoarthritis - affects around 350,000 people in the UK. It is more common in women than men and can afflict people of any age. It is caused by the immune system attacking the lining of the patient's joints, causing them to become inflamed and painful. Over time the damage can restrict movement. At present there is no cure, although the disease can be slowed down if diagnosed early.

Alarm Clock

Branding Pregnancy as Mental Illness: Immediate Consumer Action Needed to Stop Mothers Act

The Mothers Act is pending legislation that will indoctrinate hundreds of thousands of mothers into taking dangerous psych drugs. It is a great example of how the Big Pharma lobby controls Congress to the detriment of health, as well as needlessly and dramatically inflating the costs of our health care system for everyone. Like any piece of legislation it purports to address a troubling issue - in this case the mood distress of mothers following birth known as postpartum depression. It is true that 10% - 15% of women need some assistance in dealing with this topic - but the majority of them sure don't need it from Big Pharma. That is the Big Lie.


Drug-coated stents widely used for unapproved conditions

Doctors have been widely prescribing drug-coated heart stents for uses not approved by the FDA, according to two studies recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.


The Best Home Remedies May Be Sitting in Your Spice Cabinet

Scientists are finding that spices can ease inflammation, kill bacteria and viruses, and even cause cancer cells to self-destruct.


Wine labels with animals: Why they work

Traditional brand research argues that logos should be highly relevant to the product they represent in order to be successful. However, marketers have recently begun using unusual visual identifiers that have little, if anything, to do with the product. For example, market research firm ACNielsen reports that nearly one in five of the table-wine brands introduced in the last three years features an animal on the label. A forthcoming study in the April 2008 issue of the Journal of Consumer Research reveals why this tactic is works.

"To our knowledge, this is the first experimental demonstration of the beneficial effects of unique visual identifiers that are not meaningfully related to the nature of the product," write Aparna A. Labroo (University of Chicago), Ravi Dhar (Yale University), and Norbert Schwarz (University of Michigan).


Does touch affect flavor? Study finds that how a container feels can affect taste

Does coffee in a flimsy cup taste worse than coffee in a more substantial cup? Firms such as McDonalds and Starbucks spend millions of dollars every year on disposable packaging, but a new study from the April issue of the Journal of Consumer Research suggests that trying to skimp in this area might not be worth it - and may negatively impact consumers' perceptions of taste and quality.

In a series of four experiments, Aradhna Krishna (University of Michigan) and Maureen Morrin (Rutgers University) find that many people do indeed judge a drink by its container. Specifically, the firmness of a cup seems to have an impact on consumer evaluations of the beverage contained inside.

Monkey Wrench

Ukraine: Brain surgeon operates with DIY drill

An eminent British neuro-surgeon has been performing complex brain operations using a £30 do-it-yourself cordless power drill at a clinic in Ukraine.

Henry Marsh, a senior consultant at St George's hospital in Tooting, south London, has used the Bosch 9.6 volt battery-operated hand tool to open up the skulls of his patients to remove life-threatening tumours. Occasionally the battery has gone flat halfway through.


Scotland: Valium Nation

It gained notoriety in the 1960s as mother's little helper'' ... but now Valium is Scotland's hidden drugs scourge, affecting thousands from all sectors of society.

An investigation by the Sunday Herald has revealed a shocking picture of the scale of use of powerful tranquillisers known as benzodiazepines. Those abusing the drug range from heroin addicts to middle-class cocaine users, while others have unwittingly become hooked for decades after being prescribed the medication by doctors.

Illicit supplies of the drug are also flooding in to Scotland from abroad, and it can be bought on the streets for as little as 50p, as well as being easily obtained over the internet.

Valium, which is now prescribed under its generic name diazepam, is one benzodiazepine. This drug group is used to help overcome anxiety and sleep deprivation, but can lead to addiction and horrific withdrawal symptoms.


SARS Memories Haunt Hong Kong as Flu Outbreak Closes Schools

When Louis Wong came home from work earlier this week his wife brushed aside his attempt to hug their 2-year-old son and sent him straight to the shower.

Hong Kong is on flu alert after the unexplained deaths of four young children with flu-like symptoms. Worried residents are donning surgical masks, flooding hospital waiting rooms and buying up supplies of antibacterial soap as they remember the SARS outbreak that killed 299 people five years ago.